Sabaton – “40:1”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today is Independence Day in Poland, and it’s a special one because it’s 100th anniversary of Polish Independence. So as you can imagine we’re having a lot of celebrations, both on a national, as well as personal/familial level, and all the others in between.

I wanted to make something special on my blog because of this, like something in connection with Poland, but somehow I was very short on ideas, thought about making a little q&a like on 1 August, but thought it doesn’t really make sense now as my blog is private.

Well, turns out that even if I came up with something, I probably wouldn’t do it, because I spent most of the day in bed with a nasty headache and stuff, and then when I finally dragged out we watched the INdependence March or parade or however you call it on TV, and I had that yucky headache until a few hours ago.

Anyway, instead, I decided to celebrate this day with music. And I wanted it to be particularly interesting, so I chose one of the songs that I know that are sung in Polish, but not by Polish people or Polish speakers.

I know quite a lot of such songs because there is such an awesome programme on Polish Radio called “Strefa Rokendrola Wolna Od Angola” which I’ve already mentioned a couple of times, via which I got to know lots and lots of music, particularly rock music, in other languages than English, sometimes really bizarre, but really cool stuff. And once in a while in this programme there is a separate one for music in Polish, but by non Polish people, and another one for music made by Polish people but in other languages than Polish, and than English of course. And oh my God there are so many brilliant songs by non Polish people in Polish! And I admire their courage so so much, and it is just interesting to hear!

But this one that I want to show you is absolutely particular.

Sabaton is a Swedish metal band, which is fairly popular here, which is no wonder because they are fascinated by Polish history, and very often sing about it. I am not particularly crazy about them (even though they are Swedish 😀 ), but I do like them, and I love the fact that they are so fascinated by our country and history!

This song is called “40:1”, and has two language versions, one is in English, and one is in Polish, and I’ll show you both.

It is not connected with Polish Independence as such, it tells the story of battle of Wizna in 1939, but still I think it has the feel that is appropriate for this occasion.

The thing is: the vocalist of Sabaton doesn’t speak Polish, I guess at all. Swedish is generally an easy language for Poles, but definitely NOT vice versa! I wouldn’t exaggerate, as many Polish people like to, that Polish language is so very difficult, even the most difficult in the world as some say – no, or at least, not as very very much, I suppose, but for Swedes, it may be a bit tricky. All those z’s, ź’s, ż’s, rz’s, and so on and so forth… Swedes do not have the letter Z in their language, I mean they do but only in some loanwords or surnames and now it seems to become trendy in baby names when you’ll look at rankings. But even in the words that they do have Z, it’s very difficult for them, usually, and they pronounce it like S. Even in English Swedes very often tend to say “amasing”, “lasy”, “crasy”, which, in my opinion, is SOOOOOO cute. I have a Swedish friend, she currently lives in Poland and has married a Polish guy a while back, she has been almost always interested in Poland and has been learning Polish since years, longer than I am learning Swedish, and she has still some difficulty with those sounds. And there are other sounds, or combinations of sounds, that are incredibly hard for Swedes too.

And this guy did it! I mean of course he sounds very Swedish, and there are parts that Polish vocalists are singing, but still, he did it, and he did it really really well! I’ve heard that apparently it was very exhausting for him to sing this song in Polish, and when they were recording it they had to take multiple breaks and eventually put together small bits of it together, or something like this, because it was too hard for him to do in one piece! I was just in awe when I first heard this song, and I still am, no less. So yeah, chapeau bas
for him! And, as we are at it, even more so for all those who fought for Polish Independence!

Here are the two songs. 🙂

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Dubska – Bajki (Fables).

Hi. 🙂

Have you ever heard any Polish reggae? If not, now you can. Reggae is really a thing here, particularly if you listen to alternative music scene, you just can’t not be familiar with it, but its influences are also visible in our modern mainstream music from time to time. When I was a kid, I loved to listen to a radiostation which very sadly no longer exists now, called Polish Radio Bis. It was directed at young people and they played a lot of alternative music – rock, rap, chillout, club music, folk, house, and reggae, dub and ska and all the related stuff. This in a way drew me to reggae music, particularly Polish reggae, and I had a short but stormy time in my life when I really really liked reggae, particularly a band called Vavamuffin. And I still like them, although I’m no longer even half as crazy about reggae as I was back then.

Dubska is one of the younger Polish reggae/dub bands, and, in my opinion, one of more accessible for not reggae geeks. Usually, reggae is filled with some kind of slang, plus all the rastafari culture related words, plus Jamaican phrases, and English with very hard, Polish-(pseudo)Jamaican English accent mixed with Polish, so that outsiders can’t get much out of it sometimes. But as far as I know, Dubska have most of their texts in Polish, and even if they’re in English, I guess they’re also pretty understandable for those who haven’t ever been into reggae. Their texts are about life and its various aspects, often a bit phylosophical, like this one.

“Bajki” is their new song. The word bajki means tales or fables, but it also may colloquially mean something like boosh, nonsense. The song is very universal imo, and I think will be always actual. It’s about people telling lies and taking advantage of it, and spreading the evil and war, etc.

Song of the day – Kortez – “Dla Mamy (for mum).

Hi! 🙂

Wanted to continue with my favourite Gabrielle Aplin songs, but put aside for today because… because today is my Mum’s and my brother’s birthday, yes, they have birthday on the same day, so I wanted to celebrate it somehow.

And this song seems perfect for this purpose. Kortez is a Polish singer, whom my Mum has a pretty big crush on, almost as big as my crush on Gwilym is right now. Kortez’s music is quite speciffic and he’s rather speciffic too, and I think people most often love his music  or hate it, rarely something in between. His songs are very melancholic, depressive even, but beautiful. I like him too and this song is the first song by him I’ve ever heard. It describes Kortez’s relationship with his mum which apparently is very close.

But it also describes perfectly the relationship between my Mum and Olek. She showed me this song last year and asked me if I also think it does and then when we listened to it, we both started to cry. The text is fairly easy so I’ll try to translate it:

 

For mum

I will bruise myself
I will get lost somewhere
I will lie to you
you will refrain from anger.
I will desire stars,
You will give everything
and I will take everything.
I will dance a night away,
I will believe in something,
I will hit the bottom,
I will travel far and wide,
I will make a mistake,
I will shout out the anger
because you stand firmly behind me

I will give you field flowers for that,
I will send you a letter,
I will take you for a walk
I will make a present for you
I will tell you a bedtime story.

I will stand up to somebody,
I will achieve my goal
I will feel ashamed
and I will be upset.
I will raise my voice,
I will build a house
and you will be proud.
I’m not afraid
I know what I want
and I will keep going
I will keep going ahead
I will look back
I will look for you
and I will not find you.

I will give you field flowers for that,
I will send you a letter,
I will take you for a walk
I will make a present for you
I will tell you a bedtime story.
Isn’t it a great description of son-mother relationship?

So here’s the song:

Song of the day – Maja Koman – Babcia Mówi (Grandma Says).

Hi! 🙂

I wanted to share another Enya’s song with you today, but then realised that oh wow it’s International Mother Language Day, so, well… mother language, yay! It’s definitely a time to show you something in Polish, this blog exists almost for a month and still nothing in Polish here.

The truth is… I don’t listen to Polish music very much. It’s not I don’t listen to it at all, ’cause I do at times,  and it’s not I’m not patriotic or don’t like my mother tongue, in fact I love it and (pretty obviously I think) it’s one of my around 12 favourite languages, I think me and my whole family are very patriotic. But I just listen to so much music in other languages, in Swedish, in all the endangered languages I love, in English obviously, so that most music I listen to in Polish are just random things I hear in radio in the kitchen or somewhere else, and when Ilisten to something in Polish just because I really want to and enjoy it, I mostly like it for the lyrics, it’s most often something alternative, or reggae, some folk at times. So I felt like it would be hard for me to make you like it if you won’t be able to understand the lyrics. So I wondered for quite a while what to pick.

But finally I picked something. It is a humourous, ironical, but also very true song and although lyrics are most important in it, I think you’ll like it.

Maja Koman is a young artist from Greater Poland, she writes songs for herself and plays ukulele, is a bit of an eccentric and her lyrics are usually ironic, honest, funny, a bit sarcastic. She also writes songs in English and French, but most of them are in Polish.

This particular song – “Babcia Mówi” – is basically about how men and women, very generally, changed since our grandparents were young. This song should be definitely taken with a grain of salt and it’s surely not a generalisation, but it says that men become less masculine, more like females, while women aren’t as feminine as they used to be either. 😀 By the way, I feel like it’s a perfect example of that hiraeth thing I wrote about a few posts ago. 😀 And although if I’d take it literally, there are some things I can’t agree with, generally, as a person with quite traditional views, I think it’s pretty true. I really like this song and it still makes me smile when I listen to it even though I know it since  a few years already.

It’s a pity there aren’t any English lyrics to it anywhere, I tried to translate it on my own, but realised I’d probably only make a bit of a hash of it, because there are lots of colloquialisms, metaphors and words that are more or less emotionally charged and I’m not sure of their adequate English equivalents, so it wouldn’t be as funny and natural. But still I hope you’ll enjoy this song.